By Pinar Erdal, Mirpain Milling & Baking Ingredients, Turkey

Vitamins and minerals are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Different vitamins and minerals have different roles and their absence will cause serious disease.

People need vitamins and minerals in their diets, because their bodies cannot synthesise them quickly enough to meet their daily needs and vitamins are essential for normal physiologic function. If there is poverty about vitamins in diet, it will cause a specific deficiency. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the required average nutrient intakes for a healthy person, which is often not reached.

Food systems often fail to deliver foods sufficiently rich in essential vitamins and minerals. This failure is due to poor availability, access, affordability, and use of inappropriate foods. It causes widespread micronutrient deficiencies and their negative health consequences, which affect over 1.6 billion people around the world.

Wheat is an important cereal crop and, together with maize and rice, accounts for 94 percent of total cereal consumption worldwide. To obviate the deficiency of vitamin and minerals, flour fortification has an important role.

Food fortification is a practice of adding one or more essential nutrients to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply. Fortification of industrially processed wheat flour, when approximately implemented, is an effective, simple, and inexpensive strategy for supplying vitamins and minerals to the diets of large segments of the world"s population.

Wheat flour fortification should be considered when industrially produced flour is regularly consumed by large population groups in a country. Wheat fortification programmes could be expected to be most effective in achieving a public health impact if mandated at the national level and can help achieve international public health goals. Decisions about which nutrients should be added, and the proper amounts to add to flour for fortification, should be based on a series of factors, according to nutritional needs and deficiencies of the populations; the usual consumption profile of fortified flour.

In the less industrialised countries, fortification has become an increasingly attractive option in recent years, so much so that planned programmes have moved forward to the implementation phase more rapidly than previously thought possible. Globally 87 countries have legislation to mandate fortification of at least one industrially milled cereal grain.

About Mirpain

Mirpain is an R&D centred, Swiss-Turkish joint venture company, which has an outstanding experience in the research and development, production and commercialisation of high quality milling and baking ingredients. Mirpain supplies products to international markets, around 45 countries.

With its successful background of 15 years baking enzymes and flour correctors, Mirpain offers customised fortifications with high quality ingredients. The company develops vitamin and mineral blends in response to customers" needs and cares about the sustainability of results.

Besides its enzymes and blending expertise, Mirpain follows Worldwide Food Regulations and issues and finds global fortification solutions thanks to its high technology laboratory and its dynamic and experiences R&D team.

Mirpain is a member of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) that is an international organisation driven by the vision of a world without malnutrition. GAIN was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with its partners, GAIN aims at making healthier food choices more affordable, more available, and more desirable.

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